A question we’re often asked is: “How much does it cost to buy a franking machine?” and our response is often: “It depends.”
There’s no single answer. There’s no right or wrong answer.
The fact is that there are various factors involved that could influence the overall cost including:
The list goes on.
As a result, providing a specific cost for a franking machine can be difficult, especially if your needs change.
In this blog, we’re going to talk through the costs associated with buying a franking machine.
Why it can be better to buy, rather then rent
The main advantage of buying a franking machine is that you know the full cost up front. There’s no monthly fee and you manage everything yourself.
Also, buying is substantially cheaper in the long term because you don’t have any ongoing rental payments. It becomes an asset that’s part of your business, rather than something that’s wheeled in and out by a supplier at the end of your contract.
There are, however, some caveats to buying a franking machine.
What are the associated costs of buying a franking machine?
1. Repair bills
Buying might mean that you own the franking machine – but it also means your responsible for its upkeep.
For example, if the machine isn’t working correctly, you’ll have to call a Royal Mail approved supplier and ask them to send a qualified engineer. The rates and charges vary between suppliers, so frequent repairs could incur a significant cost.
It would be more practical, then, to set up a maintenance contract with a supplier. That way you have fixed maintenance costs whenever you request an engineer.
2. Being made obsolete
Because Royal Mail sets the precedent for how mail is processed, if it decides to use new technologies (Mailmark, for instance) the expectation is that every franking machine supplier should follow suit.
As a result, machines can be made obsolete. So, if you buy an older model because it is cheaper up-front – you might find that it’s approaching end-of-life or that consumables are no longer supplied. If they are, they’ll most likely be costly.
You’ll also find that engineers are not qualified to inspect or repair the machine as they have been trained to operate newer machines.
In the world of technology, even franking machines can go out-of-date quickly. Instead of buying on the basis of price, buy on the basis of functionality. Look at modern solutions that can work together with the rest of your technology.
3. Buying a second hand franking machine
A second-hand franking machine might be attractive if you are struggling to justify the cost of a brand-new model.
However, we would urge you to not buy a second-hand franking machine. Why? Well, it comes down to the licences assigned to franking machines.
Every franking machine has its own unique licence which Royal Mail uses to track mail items and bill customers.
If you buy a second-hand franking machine the licence and ownership will need to be transferred over to your business. There’s also a small chance that any unpaid surcharges could be transferred over in the process.
Also, you would also need to have an engineer (from a Royal Mail approved supplier) inspect the machine before you use it to see if it’s in good condition.
Ultimately, buying a franking machine will depend on what your business needs now and in the future. Providing you don’t purchase a second-hand franking machine or one that is close to the end of its life, buying can be a good option over leasing.
If you’re evaluating digital post and print solutions for your business, we can help. Download our free eBook below and find out everything you need to know about digital post and print machines, including how they can empower your business.